Getting Help and Giving Back

Darren is a longtime Lake City resident who is able to get help from his neighbors at North Helpline, and he also gives back.  Over the years, he has been in and out of the hospital due to a complicated type of asthma. He said, “There is nothing worse than not being able to breathe.”

Times were hard.  Darren got a disability determination, but financial assistance had not yet arrived.  He fell behind on his rent, and he feared losing his apartment. His family helped the best they could, and then he turned to North Helpline.  Darren said, “North Helpline helped me pay my rent, because I didn’t have money.”

“Because of you, I was able to keep my housing.

Darren never became homeless thanks to resources from his family and North Helpline.  “A lot of people don’t have a family. When I meet people who are homeless, they are on their own.  North Helpline becomes like their family, and you are part of my family too.”

Over the years, Darren has visited the food bank regularly.  Then something special happened. He started doing community service, because he had a couple of tickets.  Once he got involved in volunteering, he realized he really liked it. Now he does everything that his health will allow him to do.  He said, “I am blessed, and I am thankful, and I try to pass it on.”

“This is a great place, and I love being part of my community.”

Growing up, Darren knew he always wanted to work with people.  Serving others at North Helpline gave his life positive meaning.  “I always tell people who are less fortunate than me that you have many resources that can help.  I tell them to go to North Helpline.”

“Volunteering here was a huge positive step in my life.”

When Darren volunteers, he serves many roles.  Since his goal is to help other people, he responds to what his neighbors need as well as filling in where there are fewer volunteers on a given day.  Here are a few examples of how Darren contributes.

• Running the carts
• Sorting and re-stocking
• Serving in the food bank distribution line
• Assisting Jeremy around the warehouse
• Reception/Front desk